Friday, June 1, 2007

stream of conciousness


NOTE ON STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUE


'STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS' IS A COMMON WAY OF TRANSMITTING INFORMATION.EVENTS UNFOLD AS THEY CAME TO SPEAKER'S MIND.THE STORY MAY BE BASED ON SEQUENCE, OR SIMPLY BASED ON STORYTELLERS "CONCEPT OF RELEVANCE".

STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS, IN LITERATURE, IS TECHNIQUE THAT RECORDS THE MULTIFLRIOUS THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS OF A CHARACTER WITHOUT REGARD TO LOGICAL ARGUMENT OR NARRATIVE SEQUENCE. THE WRITER ATTEMPTS BY STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS TO REFLECT ALL THE FORCES, EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL, INFLUENCING THE PSYCHOLOGY OF A CHARACTER AT A SINGLE MOMENT. THE TECHNIQUE WAS FIRST EMPLOYED BYEDOUARD DUJARDIN IN HIS NOVEL "Les Laurie’s sent coupes"(1888) AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY USED BY SUCH NOTABLE WRITERS AS JAMES JOYCE, VIRGINA WOOLF, AND WILLIAM FAULKNER. THE PHRASE "STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS" TO INDICATE THE FLOW OF INNER EXPERIENCE WAS FIRST USED BY WILLIAM JAMES IN "PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY"(1890).

IT IS A NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE IN WHICH THE WRITER RENDERS A FLOW OF ASSOCIATED THOUGHTS AND FEELING GIVING THE IMPRESSION OF ONE’S CONCIOUSNESSAS IT STREAMS THROUGH IDEAS VISUAL, AUDITORY, AND PHYSICAL. IT IS ALSO KNOWN AS ‘INTERIOR MONOLOGUE’. WILLIAM FAULKNER USES STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS NARRATION AS A MEANS OF GETTING INSIDE THE HEADS OF HIS CHARACTERS AND ENHANCING THE STORY.

THE RISE OF THIS ART FORM ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR I, MARKS AN EPOCH IN THE HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL.THE NOVEL IN WHICH THIS TECHNIQUE HAS BEEN USED IS ALSO CALLED NOVEL OF SUBJECTIVITY OR PSYCHOLOGICAL NOVEL. AS DAVID DAICHES SAYS, THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT FACTORS OF STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUE. ONE IS THE NEW CONCEPT OF TIME AS CONTINOUS FLOW, RATHER THAN AS A SERIES OF SEPARATE POINTS, A CONCEPT INDEPENDENTLY ENUNCIATED IN FRANCE, IN HENRI BERGSONS CONCEPT OF ‘LA DUREE’, AND IN AMERICA BY WILLIAM JAMES WITH HIS INTEREST IN THE CONTINUILY OF CONCIOUSNESS. BERGSONIAN IDEAS ABOUT TIME WERE IN THE AIR IN 1920’S AND INFLUENCED EVEN THOSE WRITERS WHO HAD NOT READ BERGONS. IT LEAD TO A SUSPICION OF THE OLD KIND OF PLOT NOVEL WHICH CARRIED THE CHARACTERS FORWARD FROM MOMEMENT TO MOMENT IN PRECISE CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE AND THERE DEVELOPED INSTEAD THE KIND OF NARRATIVE TEXTURE THAT MOVED BACKWARD AND FORWARD WITH A NEW FREEDOM TO TRY TO CAPTURE THE SENSE OF TIME, AS IT ACTUALLY OPERATES IN THE HUMAN AWARENESS OF IT. CLOSELY LINKED TO THIS NEW VIEW OF TIME WAS THE VIEW OF CONCIOUSNESS DRIVING IN A GENERAL WAY FROM THE WORK OF FREUD AND JUNG, BUT CONCENTRATING ON THE FACT OF THE MULTIPLICITY OF CONCIOUSNESS, THE PRESENCE IN THE GIVEN CONCIOUSNESS OF THE PRESENCE IN THE GIVEN CONCIOUSNESS, OF ALL IT HAD EVER EXPERIENCED AND PERHAPS ALSO OF ALL THAT THE RACE HAD EXPERIENCED. THE INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY IN THE SUM OF INDIVIDUAL’S MEMORIES, AND TO REGARD THE PAST AS SOMETHING TO BE RECALLED BY A CONCIOUS EFFORT OF MEMORY IS ON THIS VIEW TO DO VIOLENCE TO THE FACTS OF EXPERIENCE. THE PAST EXISTS ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT, COLOURING AND DETERMINIG THE NATURE OF THE PRESENT RESPONSE, AND TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT A CHARACTER’S REACTION TO ANY SITUTATION WE MUST TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT WAS EVER HAPPENED TO HIM.

BERGERSON’S THEORY OF TIME HAS BEEN OF FAR REACHING SIGNIFICANCE IN THIS CONNECTION. HE DIVIDED TIME INTO INNER TIME OR DUREE OR PSYCHOLOGICAL TIME, AND CLOCK-TIME OR MECHANICAL TIME. OUT OF HIM MOST OF THE WRITERS HAS TAKEN STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS. HE IS A FRENCH THINKER. IN HIS BOOK, “ TIME AND FREE WILL” HE DELINATED CERTAIN TIME AND FREE WILL. HE SAYS, “INNER TIME” OR “DUREE” IS CONVINCED OF AS A FLOW, A CONTINOUS MOVING STREAM AND THE DIVISION INTO PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE AS ARTIFICIAL AND MECHANICAL. THE PAST LIVES ON IN PRESENT, IN MEMORY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, AND HIS WAY IT ALSO SHAPES THE FUTURE. THE RESEARCHES REVEALED THAT THERE ARE LAYERS WITHIN LAYERS IN HUMAN CONCIOUSNESS. BENEATH THE CONCIOUS, THERE IS THE UNCONCIOUS. THE PAST LIVES ON IN THE SUB-CONCIOUS AND THE UNCONCIOUS THAN BY THE CONCIOUS.

THE STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS WAS FOUND IN A LABORATORY WHERE A PATIENT WAS ASKED TO TELL WHATEVER WAS GOING ON IN HIS MIND AND WHEN HE TOLD, IT WAS FOUND THAT, THER WAS NO RELEVANCE BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT THINGS HE TOLD. THIS SHOWS THAT STREAM OF CONCIOUSNESS IS A CONTINOUS FLOW OF MIND. THINGS GOING ON IN THE MIND HAVE NO CONNECTION IN THEM.

VIRGINIA WOOLF SAYS, “Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind, in the order in which they fall, let us trace the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.”

IT IS A WAY OF RENDERING THE ‘PSYCHE’ OR SOUL OF CHARACTERS, ACCURATELY AND REALISTICALLY, AND THE SOUL, INNER REALITY CAN’T BE JUGED BY WHAT A CHARACTER SAYS OR DOES. THIS TECHNIQUE, ON THE OTHER HAND, PROVIDES A WAY OF, “PRESENTING CHARACTER OUTSIDE TIME AND PLACE, IN THE DOUBLE SENSE THAT FIRST IT SEPERATES THE PRESENTATION OF CONCIOUSNESS FROM THE CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE OF EVENTS, AND SECONDLY, IT ENABLES THE QUALITY OF A GIVEN STATE OF MIND TO BE INVESTIGATED SO COMPLETELY, BY MEANS OF PERSUING TO THEIR END THE REMOTE MENTAL ASSOCIATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS, THAT WE DO NOT NEED TO WAIT FOR TIME TO MAKE THE POTENTIAL ACTUAL, BEFORE WE CAN SEE THE WHOLE.”

MRS. WOOLF HA SHOWN GREAT SKILLS IN THE MANIPULATION OF TIME IN MRS. DALLOWY. THE CLOCK TIME IS MERELY A SINGLE DAY IN THE LIFE OF HEROINE, BUT IN THE CONCIOUSNESS OF MRS.DALLOWAY WE MOVE FREELY IN TIME AND SPACE, AND IN THIS WAY IS BUILT UP A PERFECT CREDIBLE AND ROUNDED PERSONALITY. WE EITHER STAND STILL IN TIME AND ARE LED TO CONTEMPLATE DIVERSE BUT CONTEMPORANEOUS EVENTS IN SPACE OR WE STAND STILL IN SPACE AND ARE ALLOWED TO MOVE UP AND DOWN IN THE CONCIOUSNESS OF AN INDIVIDUAL. AT ONE POINT, WE ARE HALTED IN LONDON STREET TO TAKE A PEEP INTO CONCIOUSNESS OF A VARIETY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ALL ON THE SPOT AT THE SAME MOMENT IN THE SAME PLACE, AND AT ANOTHER, WE ARE HALTED WITHIN THE CONCIOUSNESS OF AN INDIVIDUAL MOVING UP AND DOWN IM THE TIME WITHIN THE LIMITS OF AN INDIVIDUAL’S MEMORY.

SOME CRITICS THINK THAT NOVEL WHICH USES THIS TECHNIQUE HAS ONLY A LIMITED FUTURE, BECAUSE IT IS SHAPELESS, AND MAKES EXCESSIVE DEMANDS UPON THE READER.

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